Emily Pankhurst, a 20-year-old criminology major at Britain’s University of Canterbury, recently underwent a terrifying experience that nearly resulted in her losing her life after she forgot to take a tampon out for nine whole days. Pankhurst began to feel “hot and unwell” while studying for her upcoming exams, noticed that her stomach had begun to bloat out and that she was experiencing a “bloody discharge.” She went to the doctor, who could find nothing wrong with her; however it was a phone call to her mother, who asked if anything “was in there,”that saved her life.
Sure enough, Pankhurst felt around after getting out of the shower and found the errant tampon, which she had forgotten about after having apparently inserted a second tampon during her last monthly cycle.
Describing the moment she realised she had left a tampon in for nine days, she said: ‘When I finally realised, I pulled it out, it was pure black.
‘I wouldn’t have known what it was apart from the string. It was horrible. I immediately chucked it in the loo, I felt sick.’
Unfortunately Pankhurst’s saga did not end there. While she thought she was out of the woods since she removed the tampon, in reality the toxic shock syndrome had already set in and blood poisoning was already coursing through her veins. Sure enough, her condition quickly deteriorated and she was rushed to the emergency room, then transferred to the ICU shortly after.
‘I was also fed through a tube,’ she said. ‘My bladder was full – I had two litres of urine in me – but I couldn’t go to the toilet naturally and was given a catheter.
‘I’ve never been in pain like it so was given morphine and doctors said if I had left it any longer I would be dead.’
Pankhurst ended up spending three days in intensive care, where she was given 12 different antibiotics intravenously. Even after doctors were able to stop the infection and she was released from the hospital, she faced a long road to recovery due to a loss of mobility and severe exhaustion.
To anyone wondering why Pankhurst is choosing to share this obviously humiliating story, it’s because she’s hoping raise awareness of TSS, as she says, “girls my age are not aware of the dangers of using tampons.” Really? I feel like when I was in school health teachers drilled in the risks of toxic shock syndrome in pretty well. But hey, if she’s able to save at least one young woman from a horrible, tampon-related death…
(Via Daily Mail)